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SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 12 %
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %
The William Shakespeare Detective Agency: The Dark Lady (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency Book 2)
Colin Falconer
Progress: 15 %

The Doorbell Rang, by Rex Stout

The Doorbell Rang - Rex Stout, Stuart M. Kaminsky

Apparently Rex Stout, who was a left-leaning New Dealer (but hated communism), had many a brush with the FBI, and their director, J. Edgar Hoover, and they had a file on him (which he may well have suspected).  He was tremendously offended by the Bureau's extralegal activities, and took his revenge in 1965 with this novel, The Doorbell Rang.


Rachel Bruner is wealthier than God, and, appalled by what she read in The FBI Nobody Knows (a real book, by the way), sends 10,000 copies of it, gratis, to the most prominent and influential people she can think of.


And gets on the FBI's enemies list.


They tap her phone.  They tail her, her secretary, and her other employees, and make their lives miserable via a phony "background check."


She calls on Mr. Wolfe, and retains him, to frustrate the FBI, for $100,000 plus expenses (real money in 1965!).


Nero Wolfe vs. the FBI?  The smart money, of course, is on Mr. Wolfe, of course!


Aside from the fun of this general concept, we also get a murder investigation, paranoia at the brownstone over wiretapping, orchards and gourmet dinners used creatively, and a little spot of breaking and entering in Archie's free time.


A fun installment in the series.


(After Stout published this novel, the size of his FBI file doubled, according to the Church Commission of the 1970s.)